Fracking and Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Fracking and Pressure

In hydraulic fracturing or fracking, after a vertical shaft is dug from 1 to 2 miles deep in the earth to locate natural gas or oil, horizontal drilling occurs that can extend up to a mile from the vertical shaft. With the fracking well encased in steel and/or cement to prevent leakage into ground water, a fracking fluid is pumped down the well at pressures that can exceed 9,000 pounds per square inch (psi) or 62,050 kilopascals (kPA). This pressure can fracture the surrounding rock and create fissures and cracks for oil and gas flow. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), about 13,000 new wells are drilled every year.

The Fracking Process

The fracking process: pressures ≤ 90,000 psi. Figure courtesy of Friends of the Earth.

 

With concerns over the consequences of fracking, many people’s blood pressure increases when the topic of fracking is discussed. Unlike, fracking pressures themselves, this pressure measurement is perfect for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) pressure sensors.

Blood Pressure

The results of fracking discussions: higher blood pressures ≥ 120-mm Hg. Figure courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Peer Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure usually has a negative connotation but the right kind of peer pressure can provide positive results. Recently, studying the impact of peer pressure on reducing blood pressure has provided encouraging results for patients with hypertension (high blood pressure). According to the Heart Organization, normal blood pressure is less than 120 mmHg (systolic or the upper number) and 80 mmHg (diastolic or the lower number). Elevated blood pressures have different classifications as shown in the table.

American Heart Association Blood Pressure Categories

Source: American Heart Association.

One study reported the effect of peer pressure through a peer supportive program. In this study, one group of hypertension patients was provided 6 one-hour sessions of the peer support and training sessions and a control group was not. With pressure measurements conducted at various points, the researchers concluded that the peer supportive program was effective in promoting systolic and diastolic blood pressure scores in patients with hypertension.

In a second, on-going study, a peer support group was formed in an existing social network in a low-income community that had a practice of sharing resources and the group was provided a digital blood pressure monitor. The intent of the study is to encourage the sharing of knowledge on hypertension, disease progress and practice of self-blood pressure monitoring among the participants whose income would prevent them from purchasing their own blood pressure monitor. This recently initiated study has not reported results yet but should prove interesting.

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Using Pressure Sensing to Reduce Blood Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Using Pressure Sensing to Reduce Blood Pressure

Blood pressure measurements can alert a person of the presence of hypertension or high blood pressure and monitor blood pressure on an ongoing basis. Besides daily medication, the usual recommendations to reduce blood pressure are: lose weight, abstain from smoking, follow a healthy diet and perform regular physical activity, such as walking or swimming. Among the newer actions that a person can take is performing a limited amount of focused isometric therapy using a handgrip device.

Research studies have shown that less than 1 hour per week of isometric exercise with a handgrip can lower the resting systolic blood pressure of hypertensive patients by about 10 mmHg. One manufacturer of an isometric tool suggests performing the exercise once a day for 5 days a week in 12-minute sessions. When a hand grip is squeezed, the device displays a score with a reading of 100 being the target but progress indicated by improvements toward that goal. Typically, a hand dynamometer indicates a grip force providing biofeedback by measuring pressure and converting the measurement to force based on the pressure applied to known area (P = F/A). A user’s true progress is confirmed by blood pressure measurements using any of the commonly available devices.

Zona Health Isometric Therapy Handgrip DeviceImage courtesy of Zona Health

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Pressure for Clean Windows

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure for Clean Windows

Cleaning the glass windows at ground level for a multistory building is a little more complicated than the usual window cleaning task that most people hate. While much safer and less complex than rigs that clean high-rise buildings, as much as a 40-foot piping or pole system is required to reach windows in a four-story building from ground level but over 70-foot long poles are available. In most cases, the extended length consists of smaller sections pre-assembled at the building site for each operation but in some instances, a telescoping technique is used, at least for the last section.

With the water being pumped up several feet, a significant pressure drop can occur. For a 40-ft length pole, 17.3 psi is lost with 21.6 psi dropped at 50 feet and a 30.3 psi drop at 70 feet. As part of the water supply, water is pre-filtered. It then goes through a pressurized tank with a sand-like resin, so normal residential or commercial water pressure is increased.

Water-Fed Pole Cleaning System

While the poles in a water-fed pole cleaning system are made of lightweight carbon fiber, it still takes some strength and balance to do the job.

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